When thinking about living a more environmentally-conscious life, the first things that come to mind to change are often the foods you eat, the clothes you wear, and the products you use, right? But what about those forever jewelry pieces that you invest in with the hopes of never taking off? Spoiler alert: Though the jewelry industry as a whole can take a pretty hefty toll on the environment (causing erosion, waste, and releasing bad chemicals into the atmosphere), if you pick your pieces consciously, from the right brands, they can be kinder to the planet, too.
People have worn jewelry for more than 75,000 years, and will continue to do so for many many more, so it’s important to know where to shop to limit the environmental impact. When it comes to sustainable jewelry, there are a few questions to ask before you buy. Where are the pieces made? Who makes them? What are the working conditions like? Are the materials used recycled or ethically sourced? Is this a durable piece that I will wear forever or will I end up cycling it out of my rotation fairly quickly? And when it comes to waste, what does the brand’s environmental footprint look like? The following brands value ethical working conditions, reduced carbon emissions, and transparency to help you sparkle, stress-free.
Scroll on for some gorgeous, earth-friendly jewelry you can (responsibly) add to your collection.
The best eco-friendly jewelry brands
Awe Inspired Athena Necklace — $185.00
This gold necklace perfectly toes the line between minimalist and statement. You can pick from eight different chain options to either keep it simple, or add a pop of color to the style. The Athena pendant is powerful, while the gold finish makes it great for layering with other options, or wearing alone. The ethically sourced materials are both DEP and FLA certified, and 20 percent of the proceeds goes to help women in need around the world.
Common Alloy Paperclip & Rope Chain Necklace — $200.00
This two-piece set can be layered or worn individually. The necklaces are made from 18k gold vermeil and are crafted from partially recycled materials. The brand is family-owned, uses fair labor practices, and only sources materials from conflict-free regions. The best part is that because of the simple design and durable craftsmanship, these pieces will be in your collection forever.
Kinraden Mini Doric Earring (one piece) — $149.00
This handmade (one-piece) earring is made from pure, recycled, sterling silver. It’s easy to wear and pair with any other pieces in your earscape, and the structural design makes it stand out from the rest of your collection. The brand’s mission statement stresses that they are “in business to create enduring beauty and make a positive impact on this wonderful planet of ours.”
Annele Rosealicious Ring — $240.00
If you’re looking to add a fun pop of color to your jewelry collection, Annele has got you covered. The brand specializes in unique pieces that feature fruits, flowers, and funky designs, and is perfect for when you need to spice up and outfit with a statement piece. Annele seeks to embrace nature and protect it through “the principles of slow fashion, such as locally sourced materials, handmade production, and fairness for both consumers and producers.”
Show the Love Unisex Hakuna Matata Necklace — $118.00
Hakuna in Swahili roughly translates to “there is not here” and Matata translates to “problems.” Combine together and you get an adjusted meaning of “there are no problems here.” This pendant is perfect for both men and women to help shed any and all worries and concerns. And yes, if you loved Disney’s The Lion King growing up, you might appreciate this necklace even more. The pieces are crafted using recycled metals, fair-trade precious and semi-precious stones, and all gold-plated pieces are nickel-free. Additionally, all packaging and printed materials are made in the USA with FSC-certified, recycled, post-consumer waste, chlorine-free paper. The brand also donates the majority of its profits to environmental and humanitarian causes, each specific to the piece you purchase!
Brilliant Earth Hydrangea Earrings — $390.00
These cluster earrings redefine sparkly! They come in three different color options and two metal choices, so you can add a glittering pop of color to any look. The precious metals are all recycled and the gemstones are ethically sourced, so you can wear this statement pair without worrying about the environmental impact.
Gemist Mini Pave Huggies — $299.00
This classic pave huggie style is a staple in any jewelry collection. They are perfect to wear in your main piercing, but are also delicate enough to pair with other earrings in your second or third (or sixth!) hole. The brand uses sustainably sourced materials and ensure fair wages and working conditions to all of their suppliers.
Curious Creatures Gemme Necklace — $586.00
You can’t go wrong with the classics. This timeless necklace is elegant, delicate, and sure sparkles when it catches the light. The piece is the perfect subtle statement that you won’t want to take off, and because of the added finish, it will retain its luster for a long while so you won’t have to. The best part is that the materials are all so pure, that wearing the piece all day and night won’t irritate even the most sensitive of skin.
With Love Darling Ashok Leaf Earrings — $99.00
Stand out in a crowd with these unique earrings that look like a leaf is wrapping around your ear. The Ashok leaf is said to bring health and attracts happiness and prosperity. It represents love, beauty, and elegance—and elegant is what these earrings are! The brand also prioritizes using recycled and organic materials, and helping increase the income of vulnerable families. It also plants one tree with every order.
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